Behavioural Change Communication (BCC) Approach for BRAC: A Formative Research

With the advent of modern technologies, our sources of information and entertainment and how we communicate with each other has changed radically. If these changes are not incorporated in the ways organizations, like the BRAC, approach their target audience, communication will not be much effective and their message will not be delivered. With that in mind, we conducted a study to identify the changes in people’s modes or recreation and sources of information and evaluated the effectiveness of conventionally used tools of BRAC against those changes. We found that mobile phones have become a vibrant source of information and entertainment for the local people. Moreover, local cable network-produced contents have a huge appeal to them. As a result, many of the tools used by BRAC, such as flipcharts and printed pictorial posters, are becoming increasingly obsolete.

Researchers: Dr Shahaduz Zaman; Rabbi Ahmed; Tanvir Shatil

Partners: BRAC

Timeline: 2019

Status: Completed

Contact: Tanvir Shatil


Working Paper: Behavioural Change Communication (BCC) Approach for BRAC: A Formative Research


The rapid technological advancement has brought enormous changes in the nature of the forms of entertainment. A mobile phone with an iOS or Android operating system, for example, now simultaneously can act as a phone, television, music system, audio-video recorder and player, camera, etc. Similarly, social media like Facebook and YouTube have a huge impact on people’s forms of entertainment. Social workers and development practitioners, therefore, must evaluate the effectiveness of these forms of entertainment in delivering their messages.

BRAC has been working on social development and poverty reduction in Bangladesh for many decades. As a part of social development work, BRAC has also been working in the behavioural change communication (BCC) areas of its program participants using various tools. But it is time to rethink the effectiveness of those tools in the changing social context and revise them if necessary.


This study intended to explore the existing forms of entertainment and cultural activities of the community people focusing on the BCC transformation in the context of the rapid development of information and communication technology (ICT). And in that context, we aimed to evaluate the relevance of prominent forms of institutional and programmatic BCC activities of BRAC.


To understand the recent changes in people’s forms of information and entertainment, we adopted focused ethnography. Meanwhile, process documentation of BCC activities was employed to evaluate the relevance of BRAC’s BCC tools. To conveniently perform a focused ethnography, we selected Dewangonj Upazila of Jamalpur district—a location we thought would give a typical Bangladeshi culture and behavioural notion.

Findings and Recommendations

Our study finds that the source of entertainment and information has become personalized, localized, and digitalized. It seemed that the advancement of technology has created a new form of “digital and virtual culture” in the community. People of all ages and social classes are using their mobile phones for communication, entertainment, and information. The diverse usage of personal mobile phones made people habituate with digital contents, specifically with audio-visual contents and the virtual domain. Local content makers are using this opportunity and making low-cost audio-visual contents, specifically targeting the local communities and successfully broadcasting through online platforms and local cable networks.

Meanwhile, findings from the cases of BRAC’s BCC practice shows that the printed pictorial posters and flipcharts, conventionally used by BRAC, are losing appeal among the target audience. With the easy availability of online/offline digital entertainment, it is becoming harder to attract people with these conventional materials and settings. Moreover, with increasing urbanization and economic activities, people are becoming busier. As a result, organizing a session with flipcharts or posters is becoming more and more challenging. Finally, we found that the success of conventional BCC also largely depends on the performance of the facilitator.

Therefore, we think that individual entertainment media (e.g. mobile phones) and platforms (e.g. social networking sites) must be incorporated in BRAC’s upcoming BCC strategy. BRAC’s programmatic divisions can also work with local content developers to develop appropriate digital messaging for the target groups. The content can be broadcasted using online platforms as well as through mobile phone memory card-load shops which are becoming increasingly popular. The boundary walls of BRAC offices can be used for innovative wall-painting and graffiti. Same can be done in other community spaces. And finally, skill development or adequate training for the front line staffs that are facilitating flipcharts, x-banners, and posters at the grassroots level are needed.